Making the switch to Ubuntu: Dapper Drake --That's Linux for the rest of you!
I've been living by a simple rule, where computing is concerned, for a while now; namely, only run win32 & win64 operating systems if somebody else pays for them.
That means Linux, or a Mac at home for personal computing. So far, I prefer Linux and an older SGI Irix machine for most of my computing needs. The SGI is more or less dedicated to a few tasks, the rest happens on my Linux machine and it has gotten a bit long in the tooth. Time for a new computer and some new Open Source Software!
Having been a very long time Mandrake user since about version 6, the idea of switching didn't hold much appeal. Despite being a fairly happy user, a couple of issues continue to nag at me. These are, package management and desktop functionality.
Enter Ubuntu. These two areas are a focus for this distribution right now and let me tell you, I'm a pretty happy user! Over the last few days, I've been installing some software, getting to know GNOME and generally just checking out the environment. The UNIXey bits underneath are somewhat unfamiliar, compared to Mandrake and it's SGI like structure, but the arrangement is sane overall and easily understood. That means just getting used to a few differences here and there. No biggie.
So far, the GUI controls for nearly everything but window focus behavior are more than adequate for my needs. (Somebody really needs to let these folks know what focus follows mouse means!) Multimedia support is easily added to the base software package as well. Core software included was properly configured and ready to use, making me productive right out of the gate. All in all a net positive.
Package management rocks, particularly with Easy Ubuntu added to the mix. I asked the system for a variety of emulators, editors, some development stuff, etc.. and it was all delivered and installed while I worked on other things. --Nice.
The only downsides I'm seeing right now are some cut 'n paste wierdness, the VMWare Virtual Player and Kernel not matching up, and problems playing DVD media. I don't depend on these things for my core computing, so I'll just work through them and that's it.
Oh, one other thing nagged at me too. The lack of a base development selection choice. Maybe there is one and it was just not obvious. Either way, I was frustrated with having to pick and choose lots of stuff in order to compile some classic game development software. Still having some issues in this area and I'm sure it's just me spoiled by the Mandrake development base. Really I should know better what I am using such that I can just pick it from a menu, but I don't! Guess that's gonna change a bit, probably for the better.
All in all, this has been a great move. My hardware works, including lots of USB stuff, my desktop is functional and productive, and the system runs fast without a hitch.
Nice job guys --appreciated!
If you are looking for a Linux to get started with, Ubuntu sets a nice high bar. Worth learning IMHO.